Everyball players make their mark during half term

Report by Phil Hill, U14/Tennis Europe Captain, AASE Manager, Everyball International Academy at Halton

Everyball Players Lauren Armstrong and Kiran Kudaravalli won the U12 & U16 titles respectively at the LTA Grade 3 event at Gosling, Hertfordshire.

Lauren Armstrong beat the no1 seed Michaella Brown (7.1) 7-6 (5) 3-6 11-9 championship tiebreak in 2 hour 39 minute epic before beating in the final Emily Small 6-1 7-6 (7.2 no 4seed). Lauren had performed well all week including an 2 hour 40 minute battle against Celine Zoetelief Tromp (6.2) before eventually losing 1-6 5-7 in the U14's! 

Kiran was equally impressive having beaten Luke Power the no 4 seed 6-2 6-3 and no 5 seed Jake Munns 6-1 6-4 to reach the final to then eventually beat Chad Richards no 6 seed 7-6 6-7 14-12 in championship tiebreak saving 3 match points in the championship tiebreak! Another 2 hour 42 minute epic!

There were also good Performances by Thomas Schmidt , Sebastian Harris and Indu Ragunather and Alice Patch, all eventually losing in the  quarter finals of their respective age groups. Finally, Daniel Dean competed well in the Winter National Tour Event at Gosling winning two matches and losing two.

These were my observations having watched our players all week at Gosling:

Areas of improvement after Spring Term block 1 of training were:

- Consistency in the rallies and ability to maintain quality trading when both back
- Good use the double opener - when serving 1st serve and when both back
- Ability to compete for every point and maintain focus/attentional control.
- Finishing at net

Areas to be addressed in next block of training: 

- Bravery and aggressiveness on 2nd serves
- Reading and movement up the court to the midcourt ball
- Use of drive volleys
- Developing control and feel when forced into the net together with smarter tactical decisions.

Holly Hutchinson continued her run of good form with another Grade 3 title in the Girls 14&U Grade 3 at Northwood, Middlesex with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Nanami Yamaguchi.

Well done to all players for your effort and performances.


Indu Ragunather sits with Coach Phil Hill reviewing her performances last week



Morocco experience

Everyball's Liberty Crawford gains valuable experience in the Women's 25K in Rabat, losing in the last round of qualies to 430 world ranked Italian Carolina Pillot.

Holly wins Grade 3 Regional Tournament

Everyball's Holly Hutchinson won the 14&U Regional Grade 3 tournament today in Kent with wins over Elizabeth Hodge , Hannah Ferrett, Jennifer Gogova, and Holly Thompson who she beat in the final 6-1, 2-6, 10-4.  Holly said: 'I played confidently and fought really hard all weekend.  Yea, definitely proud of the work I put in.'

Nice job Holly!


Everyball's Liberty Crawford off the mark in Morocco

16 year old Liberty Crawford is off the mark in her first Women's 25K event in Rabat, Morocco.  She won her first qualifying match today against Salma Charif of Morocco 6-4, 6-2.  She  plays Italian Carolina Pillot ranked 430 in the world (WTA) tomorrow for a place in the main draw.  

Nice work Lib and good luck!

Stats don't always tell the story

England v Scotland yesterday:

Passes: Scotland 238, England 72
Minutes in possession: Scotland 35, England 23
Tackles made: Scotland 62, England 142
Scrums won: Scotland 7, England 4
Line-outs won: Scotland 16, England 10

Score: England 13, Scotland 6

Balance...

From The Times today - Michael Johnson talks to Usain Bolt.

'I had the chance to put some questions to Bolt this week as he relaxed in his home town.  That is one of the things I like about him.  Most people think that, to perform at this level, you must wake up early, train all day, adhere to a strict diet and get to bed early, then do it again the next day, with no time for anything else.  I felt that it was important for me to enjoy my life as well and I am certain that balance contributed to my longevity in the sport.'

'For me, balance is very important,' Bolt said.  'I train hard when it is time to train hard.  But I also like to enjoy my time off track.  I am not someone who likes to sit around and think about track and field all day, every day.  I think I would run worse if I had nothing other than that.'

Let go

Was reminded yesterday of the phrase 'let go'.

Do this:  Write down LET and then underneath the 'E' write GO

Are there situations where 'letting go of ego' would lead to a better result? Coaching relationships, parenting, situations at work....

Aussie Open final

I couldn't not blog after that!!!!

Amazing, amazing match, full of everything we'd want to see as coaches, players and fans.  Over the next days, I'll pick out a few gems from the player's themselves, but my brother sent me this yesterday which made me laugh:

'This from the guardian live text commentary on line this morning:

First set: Djokovic 5-6 Nadal*
Cometh the crucial moments, cometh
the Djokovic bouncing of the ball
before serving. Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. 15-0 . Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. 15-
all. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. 30-15 . Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. 30-all . Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
30-40 , as Nadal produces one of his
best forehands of the day. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
Bounce. Bounce. Break Nadal, as
Djokovic goes long. Nadal will serve
for the first set after 66 minutes.'

The 'real deal' of competition

Few sporting moments from this weekend...

Australian Open - Gael Monfils plays Mikhail Kukushkin in the 3rd round.  Monfils is down 4-5 in the fifth set, but 30-15 up serving.  Misses his first serve and hits a good kicker out wide to Kukushkin backhand who returns ok cross-court.  Monfils steals around his backhand to hit a big inside-out forehand to take him to 40-15 and a chance to level the match, when suddenly one of those big yellow balls is thrown onto court from the stands.  Umpire calls for a let and Monfils serves again, only to double-fault.  Visibly rattled, he loses next point and then double-faults away the match.  He's on the next flight home.

Man City looking good at 2 nil early on in second half of game v Spurs this afternoon.  A mad few minutes and Spurs are level with goals from Defoe and Bale and at 2-2 Spurs are on top.  Defoe narrowly misses a great chance to get on end of a Bale cross as game draws to a close.   Then a last ditch ball into the box and King fouls Balotelli to give away a penalty, which the latter calmly puts into the back of the net just before the final whistle blows.  City stay 3 points clear at the top of the table whilst Spurs title challenge is thrown into doubt.

Jude James (my 7 year old) steams down the pitch from one end to another for his U8 Berkhamsted Raiders team and is blatantly fouled in the box (his description) by both goalie and defender and, no penalty given.  Raiders lose 3-1. His brother Joel, meanwhile, with his U9 Team goes into overtime in a cup-game with opposition scoring the winning goal 2 minutes from the end.  

This is, as a colleague of mine Paul Dent puts it, the 'real deal of competition'.  My response to Jude as he complained to me later: 'If you choose to play the game, you need to understand that these types of things may happen, so that when they do, you can handle it.'

Not sure he quite understood what his Dad was getting at and a cuddle seemed a better option, but hey, I tried and the cuddle was nice!

On the court or on the pitch, the hand we are dealt is not often a fair one, but if we're smart enough with the cards we do have, we can still manage to influence results in a positive way. 

Smacks as bit of life.  

Murray to play Kukushkin in the next round In Australia